Seth Rogen says he was fed ‘huge amount of lies’ about Israel

Actor appeared on Marc Maron’s ‘WTF’ podcast, where he discussed attending Jewish camp in Vancouver, and his experiences of antisemitism

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 29 July 2020 10:10
Seth Rogen stars in An American Pickle trailer

Seth Rogen has given an extensive interview in which he discussed his Jewish heritage, along with his views on Israel and antisemitism.

The Hollywood actor – who spent much of his childhood at Jewish schools and Jewish camp in Vancouver – told Marc Maron’s popular WTF podcast that he was “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel”.

He referenced how young Jews are misled to believe that the state of Israel was created without displacing thousands of Palestinians.

“To me it just seems an antiquated thought process,” he said. “If it is for religious reasons, I don’t agree with it, because I think religion is silly. If it is for truly the preservation of Jewish people, it makes no sense, because again, you don’t keep something you’re trying to preserve all in one place – especially when that place is proven to be pretty volatile, you know?”

He continued: “As a Jewish person I was fed a huge amount of lies about Israel my entire life. They never tell you that – oh by the way, there were people there. They make it seem like it was just like sitting there, like the f***ing door’s open!... They forget to include the fact to every young Jewish person.”

Maron admitted he was “frightened to talk about it” for fear of backlash.

The pair also discussed antisemitism, with Rogen recalling his father telling him: “People hate Jews. Just be aware of that.”

“It’s honestly something that I am so glad was instilled in me from a young age, because if it wasn’t, I would constantly be shocked at how much motherf***ers hate Jews,” he said.

“It is pervasive and it is prevalent and it is to many Jewish people so confounding that they don’t assume it’s true.”

The 38-year-old noted that people “obviously hate people who do not look like them” and wondered if “people also have a weird fear of [those] who look like them but do not believe the same thing they do fundamentally”.

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You can listen to the full episode of Rogen’s appearance on WTF here.

Rogen’s new film, An American Pickle, follows the story of Herschel Greenbaum, a struggling Jewish labourer who moves to America in 1920 hoping to build a better life for his family.

Working at a factory, Herschel falls into a vat of pickles and is perfectly preserved for 100 years, until he emerges in present-day Brooklyn and discovers that his only surviving relative is his great-grandson.

An American Pickle premieres on HBO Max on 6 August.